One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1That grows or increases continuously or by accretion; ever increasing.
Botany. Continuing to grow; growing larger after flowering; specifically designating parts of a flower which normally fall off or wither after fertilization but instead continue growing.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Samuel Hill (?1649–1716), Church of England clergyman and religious controversialist. From classical Latin accrēscent-, accrēscēns, present participle of accrēscere accresce.
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